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Title: Effects of wall electrodes on Hall effect thruster plasma

This paper investigates the physical mechanisms that cause beneficial and detrimental performance effect observed to date in Hall effect thrusters with wall electrodes. It is determined that the wall electrode sheath can reduce ion losses to the wall if positioned near the anode (outside the dense region of the plasma) such that an ion-repelling sheath is able to form. The ability of the wall electrode to form an ion-repelling sheath is inversely proportional to the current drawn—if the wall electrode becomes the dominant sink for the thruster discharge current, increases in wall electrode bias result in increased local plasma potential rather than an ion-repelling sheath. A single-fluid electron flow model gives results that mimic the observed potential structures and the current-sharing fractions between the anode and wall electrodes, showing that potential gradients in the presheath and bulk plasma come at the expense of current draw to the wall electrodes. Secondary electron emission from the wall electrodes (or lack thereof) is inferred to have a larger effect if the electrodes are positioned near the exit plane than if positioned near the anode, due to the difference in energy deposition from the plasma.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332 (United States)
  2. (United States)
  3. School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama 35899 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22408148
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ANODES; ELECTRON EMISSION; ELECTRONS; ENERGY LOSSES; FLOW MODELS; HALL EFFECT; IONS; PLASMA; PLASMA POTENTIAL; POTENTIALS; THRUSTERS